it’s amazing what people remember

It’s easy to forget in this age of newer, more now, don’t bore me with detail, what did you just say, that your communication can have a long-lasting impact.

I was given a Friday afternoon reminder today. I was having a quite intense and wide-ranging conversation with a regional colleague that started with something I hadn’t done well on the communication front. (Seriously, lots and lots of learnings and reflections there…) While I will continue to kick myself for that complicated snafu of my own making, the conversation ended up still having its positive moments.

We were talking about how vital it is to communicate within the organisation and my colleague told me, as an example, how wonderful it was to receive an email I’d sent telling everyone what a great job we’d all just done.

The thing is, this was an email I sent sometime in late December 2013 or early January 2014. More than a year ago!

It was an email I’d taken some time crafting (there were quite a few drafts before I hit send) but I have to admit, I didn’t think anyone had paid it any particular attention. Not only did my colleague remember it, she remembered the sense of accomplishment it gave her and how good it was to know what our hard work in our separate spheres achieved when it was all added up.

You see, it wasn’t the normal emails I often exchange with my colleagues (can you do this? where’s that? why is this late? I need to know what we’re reporting here people…). It was an organisation-wide congratulations because as a team, we’d done a fan-freaking-tastic job of meeting some heavy milestones. I thought then (and I think now) that we put in an awesome effort and I just wanted to let everyone know. So I told them, in detail. I just didn’t expect anyone to remember.

So, while I still deserve a Gibbs-style slap up the back of the head for this week’s snafu, I’m taking some comfort from the fact that at some point, I had more of a positive impact than I thought.

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